Hebrew Voices #22 – A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul (Rebroadcast)

A-Physicist-on-Creation-Evolution-and-the-Human-Soul-300pxIn this episode of Hebrew Voices, A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul, Nehemia Gordon continues a conversation with orthodox Jewish physicist Dr. Gerald Schroeder. Because modern Bible commentators tend to bend the Bible to match science, Schroeder studied Nachmanides which led him to see no discrepancy between six days of creation ad 14 billion years of evolution. While religious minds grapple with the concept of time compression, Schroeder claims it is elementary stuff to physicists—and all a matter of perspective.

While asserting his belief that life on earth developed from the simple to the complex, Schroeder states his objections to modern evolutionary theory which is based on random mutations—a theory that he considers flawed as well as theological—and therefore one that should be banned from schools. Lastly, Schroeder shares his views on soulless, human-like creatures who lived before God breathed life into “the Adam.”

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Show Notes:

Dr. Gerald Schroeder earned his PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in two fields: Earth Sciences and Physics. Schroeder served for five years on the staff of the MIT Department of Physics. In 1971, he moved to Israel where he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Volcani Research Institute, while also having a laboratory at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to his current work in radiation control, he teaches at Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies, is the author of five bestselling books, and he lectures on the extraordinary confluence of modern science and ancient Biblical commentary.

Nachmanides Commentary on Genesis 1:1
משיהיה יש, ייתפש בו זמן - misheyihyeh yesh, yitafes bo z'man "from when there is matter, time takes hold of it."

The Age of the Universe by Dr. Gerald Schroeder

Midrash Tanchuma

Verses Mentioned:

Schroeder-Genesis-and-the-Big-Bang Schroeder-Genesis-One Schroeder-God-According-to-God Schroeder-Hidden-Face-of-God Schroeder-Science-of-God


31 thoughts on “Hebrew Voices #22 – A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul (Rebroadcast)

  1. Blessed are you Nehemia, I feel I can hear the sound of scales falling to the ground, I know I am seeing if not better then surely from a better perspective.If people can change their context maybe they can discard their contacts…..eewww maybe I should have signed foo sooner.Shalom

  2. Nehemia, I sure appreciate how you honor and respect your guests.
    and thank-you ! for re-airing these interviews.
    But of course Schroeder has been a strong voice for confusion and deception. For some reason he has chosen to bend the bible to match “science”. Here are some examples–
    Life has developed from the simple to the complex. This is against all our observations, our models, mathematics, the laws of physics. Evolutionists admit it is counter-intuitive, but they say it happened so it must have happened. This is not a strong argument!
    God used death, tooth and claw, disease and suffering as tools to move evolution along, and then he called it “very good”. This is an attack on God’s name, his character! And if death existed before sin, why is death a problem, why does it need to be overcome?
    The universe shows signs of age, distant starlight for instance. Thus the earth is very old, and the bible language is code, almost allegory. No need for these gymnastics. There are cosmological models that deal much better with time appearing to move more slowly on earth. And don’t make the bible into code or allegory– that is how Replacement Theology took root.
    God breathed spirit into a hominoid creature? At one time some thoughts humans and chimps were “close relatives” ancestor. Now their respective genomes have been mapped and compared, so geneticists know they do not have a common ancestor.
    I have no idea how a sweet patriotic smart guy like Schroeder would come to believe these things, much less espouse them. In my experience a scientific outlook is a blessing when it comes to understanding and appreciating God and His ways. It is not an impediment to faith, and certainly not an excuse to rebel or compete or curry favor with man.

  3. Interestingly, there are many questions in connection with the “Garden of Eden”. This must have been a special place for Adam and his wife, as God communicated with them directly. Accessing the tree of life had been a reality for them. However, after the fall something happened to their mind, as they became to be aware, in other words became conscious, and with it lost access to eternal life.

    As a consequence all die, Just like the animals.

    The following questions become apparent:”If consciousness comes with the fall, what sort of mind did Adam and Eve have before the fall? Did they even need sleep? What is the soul? Is it simply the spirit in man? A spirit which “became” aware?

    Now, Adam had been disobedient, this means he understood the consequence of death, in other words he understood what it means to die, and with it believed God , while Eve had been deceived, as the Devil confronted her with:” did God say…”therefore she took of a fruit which must have contained something to offset the aging process and deterioration of the body.

    Adam followed suit and he too ate of the fruit.

    This would mean humans don’t possess an immortal soul, just a fallen spirit, which needs to be redeemed..

    In my view, this puts the second Adam in perspective.

    • Sorry, the following should read ..Now, Adam had been disobedient, this means he understood the consequence of sin..which is death…

      Also, if I may add the following, to make the point somewhat clearer to why I don’t think that Adam and Eve had an immortal soul, nor anyone else,for that matter, is simple, the tree of life had not been accessed by them, therefore they need not have died physically , as they had not sinned, for the wages of sin is death.. but after the fall ..
      they had to leave the garden without being in possession of the gift of eternal life, therefore no immortal soul.

  4. I absolutely… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE… Gerald Schroeder! I first discovered him on Zola Levitt about 20 years ago. When I heard him explaint his… I jumped up & & said… ‘YES!’ He’s got it!

    THAT … is the answer to old earth/young earth. It’s BOTH1… & he figured it out! Makes PERFECT sense!

    I have his books… & I’d literally give my right arm to be able to sit down & talk with him for a whole day!

    What he mentioned near the begigning where he said he didn’t have time to go into what the Hebrew says in Gen.1:1… that is not there in English… I’ve laready seen him tell about that in another video he did.

    HERE… is the ACTUAL CORRECT translation of Gen. 1:1…

    *With a first cause of WISDOM God created the ALEPH-TAV (the Hebrew alphabet) & FROM that ALEPH-TAV He created the heavens & the earth.*

    He said that if it were suppose to be… in the beginning…’, the Hebrew word that WOULD have been used would have been… *BRE’SHONAH* instead of ‘bre’shiyt’.

  5. I’m still looking at this and thinking. Yehovah created wisdom before the foundations of earth and everything on it, the heavens, planets, solar system… So when we were created, Yehovah established the Sun and the Moon for the hours and days. Genesis 1:3, that is when He established light and dark, evening and morning. One day. Before this there is no knowledge of time as we know it, as far as my little brain can comprehend. I believe that when He created the heavens and earth there was no sense of time that we know of. Not until light and dark were divided. When I start to think about what and how He has set the order and established everything, when Yehovah set things in motion! I can’t even comprehend what it was before we existed. I really love hearing and discussing these things. I think that in these things, we discover things about ourselves and our Creator.

  6. To take to Congress, run don’t walk. G-d creates the beginings, and rests from the intital Creation, however He is every present and is still working, re creating, twiking the system (puts back on line) He won’t totally rest from all His work til the 7th Day Millenium. Dr. Schroeder is the best.Were the first neshamas desined with Torah in them?

      • Hello Andrew, I believe He laughs heartily when He sees the extent to which man will go to explain the unknowable. Job 9:10 and Romans 11:33. This is akin to the pedal attempting to explain the workings of the bicycle.

        • I’ve read several of his books. He doesn’t present this information as absolute fact but as a possible reconciliation for Torah with the scientific explaination.

  7. This Jewish sciencetist should get in touch with Kent hoven who would go to court tomorrow to stop the evolution lie taught in schools.

  8. Natan Aviezer is a physicist too and disagrees very much with Gerald Shroeder’s approach. I think I heard Natan Aviezer on Dennis Prager’s program mention about it.. His criticism was that you can’t get a literal reading to work in line with evolution because the order is different, so even if you elongate the days it doesn’t work. Natan Aviezer says it’s not purely 6 days, because multiple very different dating methods give a long age. (though I suppose it is possible that there’s one thing that is causing all of them to show an old age). And IIRC Natan Aviezer takes issue with how Shroeder brings dinosaurs in. And I recall a blog mentioning that what Nachmonides was talking about was part of secular knowledge/understanding of the time…and at least the secular knowledge of the time was not in line with modern science. Natan Aviezer’s resolutions aren’t great either as he says if the torah contradicts science then the torah is being metaphorical, he justifies that approach by saying that the rambam uses that approach and if it’s good enough for the rambam then it’s good enough for him. Another calculation some use is to do with the idea of there being many worlds created before this one and cooking is then which world they choose they’re in, and the other problem is it puts the billions in worlds before the 6 days. Shroeder mentions a calculation here that i’ve not heard before or don’t recognise.. Listening to this interview i’m not aware of the/a issue with Shroeder’s calculation but i’d bet on there being one.

  9. I greatly enjoyed these podcasts. Halfway through the first podcast I ordered God According to God. I finished it in 6 days and immediately ordered The Science of God and The Hidden Face of God. I look forward to reading both of those as well. Of course no two people can ever agree wholly but these ideas, are my testimonial on coming back to my faith and ultimately finding my Hebrew faith. A journey from southern baptist roots, to pentecostal, to professing atheist that then led me into the sciences and the quantum world. Science led me back to Him, and what a wonderful life it’s been ever since. Keep up the great work guys!

  10. Shabbat Shalom from Finland! I agree with Gerald about 50-65% as well. 15 billion years / Six Days is amazing concept! But I strongly disagree with the idea of “biblical evolution”. I don’t want to repeat here why b/c others have already did so and very well! But I wanted to make a comment about the famous biblical 6 000 years. Why we always use to count 6 000 years from Adam’s creation? Is that correct and are there other possibilities? History and astronomy proves the 6 000 years of the Bible / Biblical Redemption history until to this day starts from the fall of Adam. Not from Adam’s creation. So, if that’s correct we are at the 6th Millenium from the man’s fall. The history of the star names, constellations and various celestial signs which the Creator Yehovah made, set and named (Psalm 147:4) prove that b/c the King’s Torah and Teva, the celestial signs (Bereshit 1:14-17) don’t lie:

  11. Very interesting interview. In the spirit of expressing ideas, I’ll briefly share my “Hebrew Voice” on the topic, since it lies somewhat with Nehemia and somewhat with Dr. Schroeder, and perhaps is in the vicinity of what some other audience members are thinking.

    I see no issue with factoring relativity into the equation. It was Dr. Russell Humphreys’s theory (he’s a Christian with scientific credentials as impressive as Dr. Schroeder’s) that first introduced me to the idea. He lays out visually in a “for dummies” way how “space-time fabric” can explain discrepancies in the passage of time based on perspective, and how creation week might look based on that and the biblical account, as least from an astronomically. You can look him up pretty easily. When he brings up his one little trinity point you can substitute it for “hayah, hoveh, yihiyeh” 😉

    I do however have huge issues with both the concepts of evolution and the “pre-” or “proto-Adamites”. In fact, far too many to list here. My problems are actually more with their validity based on scientific principles than biblical/theological ones (though there are plenty of those as well). The closer I have looked at all the bits and pieces that are proposed to be evidence for evolution, the more ridiculous the idea becomes. If it were a raft, it would have so many holes that it couldn’t float a duck. Removing random chance from the equation fixes some of those holes but many still remain. There are so many baseless assumptions worked into even the lowest levels of data interpretation that it is staggering. Ultimately it comes down to the fallacy of uniformitarianism, which is used to determine what has happened in the past without (sufficiently) recorded information. It’s not hard to understand why even a brilliant, astute scientist would miss or dismiss the problem, however, because it’s outside the academic thought process at this point and has been for quite some time. In other words, so much of the “basics” are simply taken for granted these days, and need very seriously to be re-evaluated.

    As for the “proto-Adamites”, where are they? Where did they go? Do they live among us? Where in scripture is it even hinted that such creatures existed? I guess the real question is, “Where did Nachmanides get the idea?” That would be interesting to find out.

    Nonetheless, I admire what Dr. Schroeder has done and is trying to do. As someone I know likes to say, “Though we may disagree on some things, we can still be friends.”

    • Somebody asked where are the proto adamites? This is just an off the wall thought of mine. But there are many humans today who do not recognize “The Lord our God is one Lord”. They still go about denying the existance of God or worshipping a multitude of others.

      Frankly it wasnt until a few years ago did something change within me that I now realize what Adam did.

  12. I agree with about 50-65% of Dr. Schroeder’s statements. If one can understand what Daniel 9’s 70 weeks really means, i.e it’s not 70 physical weeks it makes sense to me that one day to YHWH may not be what we perceive as one day. Moses wasn’t a scientist. As he wrote it might be the best way he could explain it to the people. We understand so many things that would boggle the ancient mind, yet we perceive it as simple knowledge.
    What I disagree with Dr. Schroeder is that there were humans without a soul. It’s my personal theory that life and our soul are connected. When people claim to have died they always describe being detached or outside their body. The divine spark that is our soul could also be the essence of life itself. If I’m right, all of creation embodies the divine spark connecting us to our God which could explain why scripture points out that nature itself knows God intimately (Job 12:7-10), or the heavens declare the glory of God (psalm 19:1-4). There are several more like these, saying the same thing. When mankind seeks to forget God, nature will declare His truth. I see that’s what science is being shown by the universe itself, and I’m grateful you’re able to bring information like this to us. Toda raba Nehemia.

  13. I love this blending of science and theology, and especially the “implied” lesson of the Bible is the God helps those that help themselves. And they say it isn’t there!

  14. Thank you for bringing this. As a scientist I really appreciate any discussion that tries to marry scientific and Biblical understanding. I once believed in evolution, When you study science at the university it is taught as a given and there are no alternatives. When I worked at the university, and published as a geneticist, I continued in my delusional thinking.

    Dr. Schroeder is not a biologist or geneticist. He speaks of mutations causing change as if that would be a simple process. There are millions of simultaneous biochemical reactions going on in any living DNA based system. A mutation in any one gene only serves to cause a loss of function, if not death. That would be a ridiculous way for God to develop separate species.

    What genetics does show is that all DNA based systems use a common model. However, for each separate genetic “kind” all of the mechanisms necessary for that “kind” to live and reproduce would have to be created simultaneously.

    Dr. Schroeder also seems to be unaware of the large volume of evidence that shows that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Dinosaurs were created on the same day that humankind was. Researchers have recovered soft tissue from dinosaur fossils – an impossibility if they were extinct 65 million years before modern humans.

    So how then do we reconcile the apparent age of the universe with 6 days? The answer is quite simple. God created the universe in a mature state. All of the plants were created already mature and able to reproduce. All animal life was also created mature and able to reproduce. The stars were created in their places in order to give signs for humankind – based on what we know of the speed of light, the result is that the stars appear to be billions of years old. But the reality is that they were created that old.

    Isaiah 40:22 He who sits above the circle of the earth — for whom its inhabitants appear like grasshoppers — stretches out the heavens like a curtain, spreads them out like a tent to live in.

    • I agree with what Dawn Irion said. Dr. Schroeder got his degrees ( was brainwashed) from MIT. His concept of the fossil record is ludicrous. Evidently he doesn’t believe in the flood of Genesis 7 and 8 which accounts for the fossil record. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. There couldn’t be any death before Adam’s sin. Obviously fossils are a result of the death of creatures so they had to come after Adam’s sin. Dr. Schroeder is just another person that cannot comprehend the fact that Almighty God has the power to create whatever He wants instantaneously. Also, there are many recent scientific discoveries that prove a young earth.

    • Good points out there. But how we could be sure how long the time period was between Adam’s creation, life in the Garden and his fall? It could have been very long time, even millions of years when looking from this day to the past because of the scientific principle which Dr. Schroeder already presented here. Well, I don’t believe in his idea of “biblical evolution” though.

      Anyways the time “flew” in eternity and it was different than now. We cannot understand that because we are living in a different world age of the fallen world with different concept of time. And what about the universe before the creation of the Earth and our solar system and Milky Way home galaxy? Remember the stars were created in the Fourth Day. The “light” (Messiah and the angels?) was revealed (“let there be light!”) and separated from the “darkness” (haSatan and his angels?) in the “First Day” or Yom Echad, Day One. That didn’t happen in the Fourth Day so the “light” in the Day One could not be the Sun, the moon and the stars b/c they were created in the Fourth Day.

      The Hebrew text in Bereshit / Gen 1 (especially the Hebrew words which mean the heaven and earth) and science proves the creation account could not be about the creation of the whole universe which is much older than our solar system and Milky Way galaxy, but the creation of heaven (our sky, our solar system and our home galaxy) and the planet Earth. That’s the biblical “Adamic context” of time b/c Adam was created to rule the world (the Earth / Eretz).

      But was there “Angelic concept” of time before Adam in the eternity of the ancient universe? I think the existence of the angels proves that the man is unique and created from the dust and there were no “pre-adamic beings”. Angels are like human beings. I would want to ask from Dr. Schoeder were there evolution of angels as well and how that fits to the Bible and the rebellion of satan? Anyways the angels could not have been created at the same time with Adam but way much before. In the Day One? Additionally when the sin was found in the cherub (satan)? In the eternity of the Garden or before? Not necessarily but way much before in the Day One which could have been billions of years long. Well, the eternity in the Garden (before the fall) could have been millions or even billions of years as well. We don’t know but I don’t believe haSatan could had persuaded millions of Yehovah’s angels to join his rebellion in a short time period. I believe the rebellion occurred in the Day One when the “light was separated from the darkness”. I believe the light of the Day One is metaphysical light. Light of the angels and the Firstborn (Reshit) Son. That’s why BeReshit 1 says “In the beginning God created” or “In the Firstborn God created…”?

      The Light (Yehovah, His Firstborn Son and the angels) stood as One Mind (echad) against the darkness (haSatan and his forces)! That’s why I believe the name of the day is Yom Echad. They Day of the “Intergalactic Unity” of Light. Shabbat Shalom from Finland!

      • I wanted to say that I believe you are headed in the right direction with your views as is Dr. Gerald Schroeder. You elude to a “timing” aspect and I think this is key, ie; the order of operation concerning these things. I will submit above, my own rendition in hope of straightening this mess out and putting things in proper order. I’m delignted to see the many good points being submitted albeit, in muddled fashion. Yes, I could wish that Dr. Schroeder were also a Geneticist or at the very least, willing to hear their now concrete conclusions. He would be “lightyears” beyond his present position.

      • Sooooo, I wrote a comment with the 1st discussion on this and I should expound here also. This is “good stuff” and as others, I’d like to send out blessings to Brother Gordon and Schroeder. NOW, with so many great ideas and concepts from the interview(s) and comments, ones brain can be easily fried so with my humble submittal, I’m going to attempt to straighten things out a bit and put proper perspective to these issues. Here goes; In the 1st discussions comments section I mentioned 3 quests that must be answered in order to get down to the foundation concernings these things. I don’t believe we’ll get there today but perhaps close. Dr. Schroeder is the 1st of his kind to actually head in the right direction as far as I know or have heard and he has a ways to go yet. Taking into account and listening to what a proper Geneticist would say concerning the evolution of life would certainly go along ways. There is a comment below that is quite revealing about this aspect. Also, I believe that we have to stop talking about time outside of the physical creation. We see that time was made for present man and when God changes present mortal man to the imortal state, time will not be necessary and will be “no more”, we are informed. NOW, please consider that there are basically 3 parts as to relating to our existence. The 1st is before the foundations of the earth was laid (no time as we know it). The 2nd is after the foundations of the world was laid (our present existence with time added) and last but not least is the 3rd being after the “Last Great Day” when all will be rolled up as a scroll and then unrolled anew again! (time will be done away with as it won’t be needed). The muddling up occurs by not following the order of this. Dr. Schroeder puts forth that fleshly beings with parents existed kinda like animals without souls(I’m going to correct that here and say “spirits”). The error here is in thinking that the body came before the spirit! NO NO, the body was created FOR the spirit!, and if so, there seems no possible reasoning in God’s scheme of things to let a body wonder around without that for which it was formed. Sooooo, where did all these spirits come from which would ultimately find their places in the bodies forthcoming? And, timing wise, were they “fallen” when they arrived in their temporary bodies of flesh? If you can answer these, you will be way way ahead of the game! There ARE answers! I will give the answer to one. “The spirits were fallen when put into the bodies!” You my friends, SIN because you ARE SINNERS!! Now, you can put 2 & 2 together and run with it. See?, if the Spirits/you, were not fallen when placed into flesh then God created “fallen spirits”! You may say then, “I was perfect flesh and Spirit, then I sinned and became a sinner. You could say that about Adam, perhaps and you would be wrong but what about YOU when YOU were born into this world? Were you perfect and innocent when conceived? No, the Scriptures teach us differently. So,,,, God did not create fallen spirits and the Spirits are responsible for their own sin which is why we need a Savior. I hope I haven’t lost you here. Dr. Schroeder mentions that God wants a “partner” so to speak and he is correct but that doesn’t quite get to what God is really after. What our Father is really after is RELATIONSHIP, close, loving, deep relationship! I will ask here, “what self respecting perfect Angel would even THINK to rebel against Almignty God, Lucifer included? Only an Angel who really and truely didn’t know his Father very well. That’s what! So your Father is doing something that he has wanted all along sense the beginning, AND YOU are in the middle of it. Relationship is what He is building. Relationship like you can’t imagine! THIS IS WHAT ALL THIS, IS ALL ABOUT! Three existences part of the overall process. Three is the number of salvation, by the way. I hope I’ve given you enough foundational order in this brief discourse to get you thinking “orderly”. I believe that is what Nehemiah and Dr. Schroeder would like to see and I could go on and on about the miscomprehended Shama, time, no time dimensions, trinity and all the rest but you have enough for now. So be it and blessings to all.

  15. P.S. Contact is in my top (3) movies of all time
    And growing up if I may say so with Carl Sagan was an an pleasure also one extremely brilliant man. I can’t seemly think of an cosmos episode where Carl didn’t mention G-D…

  16. Well I must say ” TORAHLICIOUS MAXIMUS”
    fully convinced that between these episodes and with Dr Brand we MUST have MORE …
    and further more very stunning is his comments about Yeshua!

    Must have more!
    Maybe you can Record those classes your invited to and share that also with us Nehemia.

  17. Carl Sagan nearly diced my faith out of existence. When I was a child I had no question that science and the Bible somehow worked together. It is thrilling to hear this perspective from a respected physicist who has faith. The discussions abound in my household due to this study. Thank you, Nehemiah for bringing Dr. Schroeder, his books and his teachings to my table.

  18. I have been a huge fan of Dr. Schroeder since I first watched his video, “Believe in God in 5 Minutes (Scientific Proof).” I have subsequently watched many of his videos on YouTube. Several of them I have watched many times. I am never bored with them. One of my favorites is his second interview with Zola Levitt. In it he expands on his view that the six 24 hour days of creation as cited in the Bible corresponds perfectly with the scientific evidence of a 15 billion year universe.
    The flow of time from both vantage points and the scientific understanding of the various eras tie in seamlessly. If this is your cup of tea and you have an extra 28 minutes you may enjoy this video as well.

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